Tag Archives: Old Places

Chinatown Mid-Autumn Festival 2017

The time of the year, the Mid-Autumn Festival season in Singapore would start today on the 23rd September 2017, for a month long celebration to 19th October 2017. Many beautiful lanterns, over 1,000 beautiful, handcrafted lanterns will light up the streets of Chinatown each evening, a very beautiful, bright and colourful grand display of lights and colours, a popular annual event that attracts both the locals and overseas visitors as well.

The theme for Chinatown Mid-Autumn Festival (牛车水庆中秋) 2017 is “Celebrations of our Traditions 《传统新意庆中秋,同心共乐贺团圆》”, emphasizing on family togetherness along with the return of traditional cellophane lanterns, the inspiration for this year’s Street Light-Up.

Chinatown Mid-Autumn Festival 2017 is organised by the Kreta Ayer-Kim Seng Citizens’ Consultative Committee (KA-KS CCC) and supported by the Singapore Tourism Board. Mdm Halimah Yacob, President of the Republic of Singapore, is the Guest-of-Honour for the Official Light-Up and Opening Ceremony (开幕典礼与亮灯仪式) on Saturday 23rd September 2017. From my previous experiences watching the Chinatown Mid-Autumn Festival opening ceremony from the side lines, the opening ceremony performances have always been spectacular and lively!

Visiting Chinatown for Mid-Autumn Festival 2017, observe the lanterns! Do you remember the lanterns shaped like dragons, rabbits, roosters and rabbits made of cellophane paper hung over bamboo strips or wire frames? More than 1,000 lanterns along Eu Tong Sen Street, New Bridge Road and South Bridge Road. They are all handcrafted by expert craftsmen from China, designed in collaboration with students from Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA), inspired by the traditional cellophane paper lanterns popular in Singapore during the 1960s to 1980s, a reminiscent of the colourful cellophane paper lanterns from the 60s to 80s era.

When you visit Chinatown in Singapore, you can’t miss the Mid-Autumn Festival lanterns on display, the lanterns are always well liked and received by both locals and overseas visitors. You can’t miss this big centrepiece lantern on display at Chinatown Mid Autumn Festival 2017! Measuring 12m tall by 10m wide, decorated with about 60 animal lanterns, located at the junction of Eu Tong Sen Street and Upper Cross Street. Keep a lookout for the large-scale lantern display sets of families representing Singapore’s multicultural community on the centre divider between Eu Tong Sen Street and South Bridge Road.

There are many activities and events taking place during Chinatown Mid-Autumn Festival 2017 till 19th October:

Family togetherness celebrated at inaugural Mid-Autumn Family Fest @ Chinatown

A new event this year is the Mid-Autumn Family Fest @ Chinatown (中秋 @ on 24 September 2017where families and friends can take part in a morning of traditional activities associated with the festival. Held at the Kreta Ayer Community Club, there will be various hands-on activities, such as mooncake-making, tea appreciation, calligraphy writing and lantern painting.

Activities and Events taking place during Chinatown Mid-Autumn Festival 2017

Starting from 20 September, local and overseas visitors can look forward to finding a wide array of festive must-haves and treats from mooncakes and tea to preserved fruits and decorative ornaments at the annual Festive Street Bazaar (中秋街市集).

For the arts-inclined, the Nightly Stage Shows (中秋综艺晚会) at Kreta Ayer Square will fill the evening air with song and dance performances by local and overseas troupes and entertainers that will amplify the celebratory mood during the festival.

The Chinatown Mid-Autumn Festival 2017 will draw to a close with the Mass Lantern Walk (中秋大型游灯会) on 1 October, where up to 5,000 people are expected to come together to mark the Mid-Autumn Festival under a moonlit night, topped with entertaining performances by local clan associations, overseas performing groups and dragon dance troupes.

More info on the event highlights for the Chinatown Mid-Autumn Festival 2017 can be found in the Annex.

For more information, please visit us at:

Website:              www.chinatownfestivals.sg

Facebook:           https://www.facebook.com/chinatown.festivals

Witness to War: Remembering 1942

A new World War Two exhibition at the National Museum of Singapore, commemorating the 75th anniversary of the fall of Singapore. When I heard of this upcoming exhibition, my first initial reaction, “Another World War Two exhibition? How different is this from the rest of the other exhibitions?” I wasn’t too sure and I am a bit skeptical on what this exhibition Witness to War: Remembering 1942 is going to showcase to the public.

As I entered into this exhibition for a sneak preview with the curators, prior to her official opening to the public. I knew this was going to be something different and special, it’s not your usual World War Two exhibition. Let me bring you through my experiential journey through my photos and story.

First and foremost, it’s indeed like an international exhibition blockbuster, with more than 130 artefacts from 10 overseas museums and institutions, some never-before-seen artefacts and untold real life stories and accounts of the fall of Singapore.

Catch some old vintage films first

At the beginning of the exhibtion, you would be greeted by different vintage films montage, showing key international events from 1914 to the late 1930s. Observe carefully and you can spot Singapore landscapes and sceneries inside some of the vintage films! The films montage does take your attention span and you might be glued to the big tv projector screens!

Walking down, entering into the central area of the exhibition galleries, you would be to view many artfacts on display, some are really big and you can’t miss them, some are small, don’t go too fast. While I am unable to write and share on every artefact on display, I would highlight and share on artefacts that personally stood out for me. Please visit my photograph album for this exhibition inside my Flickr collection.

New gems and rediscover cherished classics from National Collection

25-Pounder Field Gun

Japanese Army Bungle

Enfield No. 2 Mk. 1 revolver

World class artefacts from 10 overseas museums and institutions

Steel sword (katana) of Lieutanant General Tomoyuki Yamashita

Union Jack Flag

4 pods, 4 themes

Every pod has stories, real life stories from survivors. Visit the pods, sit down, watch and listen, feel, ponder and reflect.

I – Destruction

II – Displacement

III – Love & Loss

IIII – Fortitude

5 stations for children engagement, learning, participation and interaction

Experiential learning is one of the best ways in my personal opinion to learn, especially for young children. There are 5 stations inside the exhibition that the young children are able to engage, learn, participate and interact within and from the exhibition itself.

Student Archivist Project

In this exhibition, visitors can view the works of the next generation of storytellers, the students involvement in this exhibition making process, through their help in recording, preserving and sharing of the war survivors’ experiences. This is an excellent and most meaningful involement, to connect and bridge the different generations together, through inter-generational dialogue and bonding.

 

Sit down, reflect, leave a mark behind with your thoughts and feelings

At the end of the exhibition, I sat down and reflected on the latest exhibition to be held at the National Museum of Singapore. This wasn’t just another World War Two exhibition that I thought it would be, it’s something really different, something special and unique, the real life stories, heartwarming and heartwrenching at times, the interactions, engagements. There are some things that tugged the heart strings that made it very different and special from the other World War Two exhibitions. The exhibition has the engagements and interactions, ideal for parents to bring their children down to visit and learn more about the war that took place in Singapore, the history, the stories of our survivors. Let’s not take our peace, stability and security of Singapore for granted.

My own personal thoughts and feelings

At the nice table located at the end of the exhibition, sitted on the nice softa, I looked at the small piece of paper for me to pen down my thoughts and feelings of the whole exhibition, the stories from the World War Two survivors. Somehow or another, I couldn’t and I didn’t manage to write it down. I am going to return back to this exhibition again, tour it one more time slowly, observe and learn more about our World War Two history that never see, hear and feel before in other World War Two exhibitions. Of course, I am going to pen it down my thoughts and feelings, and drop into the letter box at the side of the table, for the survivors who shared their remarkable stories with us in this exhibition.

My initial skepticism of this World War Two exhibition had totally changed, this is not just another World War Two exhibition. The experiences, the stories and interactions with and inside the exhibiton make it special and unique. Only when you are there, you will be able to enter into this experiential journey to understand and learn more about the Witness to War: Remembering 1942.

Lest We Forget.

Exhibition details

Location: National Museum of Singapore Exhibition Galleries, Basement Level

Period: 23rd September 2017 to 25th March 2018

Opening hours: 10am to 7pm (last admission at 6.30pm)

Free admission for Citizens, Permanent Residents and visitors aged 6 years and below

If you do visit this exhibition, share your experiences, chronicle it on social media via the hashtag #remembering1942.


Created with flickr slideshow.

150th Anniversary of the First Postage Stamps Issued in Singapore

A new exhibition has recently opened to the public at the Singapore Philatelic Museum (SPM) from 1st September 2017 to 1st January 2018, visitors to SPM are able to enjoy a very interesting and intriguing exhibition of stamps, some of the stamps have a very rich and old history, some of the rarest stamps, covers and other philatelic materials on display, showcasing the history and significance of Singapore from her Colonial days when she was an international port of call around the world.

On 31st August, I was at the official launch and opening of the exhibition – 150th Anniversary of the First Postage Stamps Issued in Singapore, attended and launched by Guest-of-Honour Mr Chan Yeng Kit (Chairman of Infocomm Media Development Authority), Mr Woo Keng Leong (CEO, Postal Services at SingPost), Mr Hong Tuck Kun (Chairman of the Stamp Advisory Committee), Mr Richard Tan (President of the ASP) and Professor Cheah Jin Seng (Chairman of SPM Board) at the SPM.

Thereafter, I went into the exhibition space to view the collection of stamps on display at this exhibition. When you entered into the exhibition space, it might look small in terms of floor size, however, there are a lot of stamps on display and some of the rarest stamps are there! Every stamp, cover and philatelic material tells a story of Singapore, her postal history and history as part of the Straits Settlements. It’s really amazing, mind blowing at times, it’s not just the history behind it, there are also stories behind some of the stamps on display there. This exhibition is excellent and very suitable for parents to bring their children there to learn more about Singapore’s history and culture.

Just to share a bit on the history of the Straits Settlements, in the year 1867, Singapore, Penang and Malacca were transferred from the jurisdiction of the East India Company in India to British rule in London as a Crown Colony. Singapore took control of the seat of the government of the Straits Settlements, along with its postal affairs. In order to commemorate the change of governance, a new set of stamps was issued on 1st September 1867, for the first time by the Singapore Post Office.

I didn’t get the chance to view and learn about every single stamp, cover and philatelic material on display because there are many stamps inside the exhibition. I have to plan a time and visit the exhibition at SPM again. For my next visit, I am going to slow down, view, observe and learn more about each stamp, their story and history.

When you visit 150th Anniversary of the First Postage Stamps Issued in Singapore at SPM, you can purchase a momento of this key postal milestone, the following items will available during the exhibition period:

  • A limited edition, 150th Anniversary of the First Postage Stamps Issued in Singapore. Price: $50
  • A series of 150th Anniversary of the First Postage Stamps Issued in Singapore exhibition picture postcards. Each month, a different set of 4 serialised picture postcards will be available. The pictures on the postcards are of the exhibits on display. Price: $10 for a strip of four postcards.
  • Special Exhibition Souvenir Covers: Bring home a special exhibition souvenir cover with 1st local stamp and the event date stamp (1st September 2017). Price: $3.

In conjunction with the SPM exhibition 150th Anniversary of the First Postage Stamps Issued in Singapore, SingPost has 1st local, 2nd local, 60cents, 70cents and $1.30 issued in Singapore stamps. Pre-cancelled First Day Covers affixed with the complete set of stamps are available at $4.25. There is also a Collection Pack, comprising of the 5 SingPost stamps and 3 Pos Malaysia stamps commemorating the first Straits Settlements will also be sold. You can buy them at the General Post Office, Philatelic Store which starts operations at the SingPost Centre, Jurong West Post Office and online at shop.singpost.com.

For more information , check out the URL links below-

Do visit the the exhibition – 150th Anniversary of the First Postage Stamps Issued in Singapore at SPM, if you are a parent, bring your children there, it would be a fun learning experience for them!

Vintage Flea Market by The Retro Factory

On the second weekend of the month, there is a flea market that I would like to share with everyone of you here. They specialise in vintage, retro, historical and nostalgia items that have quite a long history behind them. From vinyl discs, watches, books, jewellery, hats etc etc. It is usually held at Katong Square, in the the past few months, they have received more visitors to their vintage flea market and they have also expanded to other events/locations such as Singapore Heritage Festival 2017 at Caldecott Hill and most recently at Turf City.

I had been visiting and covering the vintage flea market by The Retro Factory at Katong Square for the past few months. There’s always something different being displayed at the flea market, I would take the opportunity to take a look around the various stalls and try to spot a treasure/retro item that I really like. There are a few items in mind, that I am planning to get it, sometime down the road!

The vintage flea market by The Retro Factory reminded me of my uni days in Australia (from studying in Brisbane, to visiting Sydney and Melbourne) when I would regularly visit and discover various flea markets in the cities and outskirts/nearby smaller cities. Some of the flea markets are vintage markets, some are artwork and modern living. There is something for everybody to explore and enjoy when they are visiting the flea markets.

I found and bought something!

Most of my readers/followers here would know of my history and connection with the Scouting movement, I still have a lot of Scouting items and memorabilia when I was with the Gan Eng Seng Dragon Scout Group. One of the items that I still kept was my whistle that I owned and used during my Scouting days. This was an item that I treasured, during a visit to one of the vintage flea markets, I found a whistle from the 1940s and I was mesmerised by the vintage whistle. After some consideration, I decided that I wanted to own this whistle and replace it on my lanyard that accompanied me during my Scouting days!

There are many different types of retro vintage items that you can discover at the Vintage Flea Market by The Retro Factory. For history, heritage, conservation, preservation and culture supporters in Singapore, do check out and follow their Facebook Page for updates and details of their Vintage Flea Market!

Facebook Page: Vintage Flea Market by the Retro Factory

Facebook Group: The Retro Factory

Instagram: The Retro Factory SG

During my visits to the Vintage Flea Market, I got to know friends who are fellow history and heritage enthusiasts! I had great chats and discussions with them, I also learned a lot from them because they are more senior than me, had seen the changes and they enlightened me on the topics of history, heritage, conservation and preservation discussion!

In my personal humble opinion, I feel that Singapore has the market and potential to grow its own flea market. While it might take a bit of time, with increasing awareness on the topics of history, heritage, conservation and preservation, the vintage flea market in Singapore can grow and expand in the very near future.

Do visit the Vintage Flea Market by The Retro Factory, you never know what kind/types of retro stuff/treasures that you can find there!

Singapore Heritage Festival 2017 @ Singapore River

The Singapore Heritage Festival 2017 is now entering into her final weekend, this Saturday 13th May and Sunday 14th May, consisting of many different festivities, performances, fun, food and celebration, with the Singapore River being the main attraction for this final Singapore Heritage Festival 2017 weekend.

Taking place at Singapore River this weekend, organised by Asian Civilisations Museum, it’s going to be transformed and brought back in time to the era when the Singapore River was a thriving hub that helped to define Singapore’s status as a trading port and one of the cross roads of the world shipping routes. At where the Asian Civilisations Museum is located, Singapore Heritage Festival 2017 final weekend takes place on Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th May, they are taking over the space, bringing visitors back in time to learn and understand Singapore’s early history, heritage and culture of the Singapore River through the activities, performances and of course, delicious food.

What are some of the festivities, performances and fun that you can expect when you visit Singapore Heritage Festival 2017 at Singapore River from 12th to 13th May 2017?

  • Singapore River Performances

Asian Civilisations Museum

Various timings

Free admission

The Asian Civilisations Museum presents a series of performances related to, and inspired by, food stories and migratory cultures.

The performances include:

  • Through My Eyes

by Act 3 International

12 May | 7.30pm

13 May | 3.30pm and 7.30pm

Asian Civilisations Museum (Outdoors), Hardcourt

Meet three living statues, and listen to them bring the history of Empress Place to life. Revisit hawkers by the river, the old Immigration department, and the government offices of bygone years.

  • Part I: The Dream

by TO ensemble

13 May | 2pm and 4.30pm

Asian Civilisations Museum, Level 1, Contemporary Gallery

Spice up your afternoon with fusion music that explores the founding of the Lion City.

  • Part II: Port City

by TO ensemble

13 May | 3pm and 5.30pm

Asian Civilisations Museum, Level 2, Foyer

Be transported back to the hustle and bustle of the old Singapore River scene, and experience its growth over the years through this multicultural musical performance.

  • Sounds of the Island

by TCR Music Pte Ltd

12 and 13 May | 10pm | Asian Civilisations Museum (Outdoors), Hardcourt

& 13 May | 6pm   | Asian Civilisations Museum, Level 2, Foyer

Sing along to Xinyao, Singapore Mandarin pop tunes, surrounded by the river, food, and people that are distinct to the island.

  • A Banquet of Songs

by Vox Camerata

13 May | 1.30pm and 4pm

Asian Civilisations Museum, Level 2, Foyer

Groove to a delectable collection of folk tunes, as this a cappella group tickles your aural palate with songs of adventure, travel, and longing.

  • Museum of Eating

Asian Civilisations Museum

Date & Time: 28 April – 14 May | Throughout museum hours

Free admission

We love our Singapore food, we eat a lot, however, do we know more about food, the processes, habits, quirks and practices here in Singapore? Visit the Museum of Eating inside the Asian Civilisations Museum to find out more!

  • Masak Makan Trail

Asian Civilisations Museum, Level 1, Central Staircase

Date & Time: 12 and 13 May | Throughout museum hours

For children only

This fun activity would be ideal for parents bringing their children to Singapore Heritage Festival 2017 at the Singapore River.

Question: “Do you know why the spouts of coffee pots connect near the top of the pot, and tea pots from the bottom?”

You can find the answer by going on a self-guided trail through the Asian Civilisations Museum to discover the answer!

  • Somewhere Around Here

Asian Civilisations Museum (Outdoors)

Date & Time: 28 April – 14 May | Daily

Free admission

Photography enthusiasts, history, heritage, conservation and preservation enthusiasts, this photographic installation will definitely interest you. Walk around the environment around the Asian Civilisations Museum, discover how the surroundings around it had changed over time, through archival photos. Remember to check out the stories and anecdotes from the Oral History archives.

  • Outdoor Film Screening

Asian Civilisations Museum (Outdoors)

Date & Time: 12 & 13 May | 7.30pm – 10pm

Free admission

Watching movies under the stars, have you tried it before? It’s been a long time since I went to watch a movie under the stars! At Singapore Heritage Festival 2017 at the Singapore River, catch the local films being screened!

  • Kway Chap (2015)

by Sun Koh (15 minutes)

12 May | 7.30pm

Asian Civilisations Museum (Outdoors), ACM Green

Even though filmmaker Sun Koh grew up in a family of famous kway chap hawkers, she never made a film about them. But now she makes a last-ditch attempt to document the memories of her family and their livelihood. But many of the places where they started the trade no longer exist – is she too late?

  • Old Friends (2015)

by Royston Tan (67 minutes)

12 May | 8pm

Asian Civilisations Museum (Outdoors), ACM Green

From the creators of Old Places and Old Romances comes the final instalment of the trilogy: Old Friends. Savour the stories of those who pioneered the rich, authentic flavours of traditional Singaporean cuisine – and those lucky enough to taste them – in this evocative film by Royston Tan and his team. 

  • The Missing Ingredient (2016)

by Wang Eng Eng (19 minutes)

13 May | 7.30pm

Asian Civilisations Museum (Outdoors), ACM Green

The filmmaker follows the struggles of her cousin as he prepares for the Mid-Autumn festival in Singapore. His challenge – recreating the family’s signature salt and pepper moon cake. His efforts are subjected to criticism by the rest of the family, who feel he doesn’t know the recipe. The expectations of continuing a culinary tradition weigh heavily upon the shoulders of her cousin once again this Mid-Autumn.

  • Wanton Mee (2015)

by Eric Khoo (71 minutes)

13 May | 8pm

Asian Civilisations Museum (Outdoors), ACM Green

Wanton Mee presents the journey of Koh Chun Feng, who takes his camcorder with him to local food stalls. He begins to amass the stories of the stall owners, and hidden within those, the history of how Singaporean dishes were created.

Last but not least, when you visit Singapore Heritage Festival 2017 at the Singapore River, YOU CANNOT MISS THIS!

  • New Empress Place Food Centre

Asian Civilisations Museum (Outdoors)

Date & Time: 12 May | 7pm – 10.30pm

& 13 May | 5pm – 10.30pm

Free admission

Do you remember the Empress Place Food Centre which used to be in front of the Former Empress Place Building (now known as the Asian Civilisations Museum)? I still have some memories of this place when I was a young kid!

Now, you can relive those memories again, with the New Empress Place Food Centre! Let me show you, some photographs of the delicious local food that you can enjoy when you visit!

This is the final weekend of Singapore Heritage Festival 2017, with Singapore River being the spotlight! Come on down, visit and enjoy yourselves with your family, relatives and loved ones! Do visit the Singapore Heritage Festival website for more details of activities and events taking place at other locations too!

Singapore Heritage Festival 2017 @ Singapore River (organised by Asian Civilisations Museum)

Date & Time:

  • 12 May: 7pm – 10.30pm
  • 13 May: 1pm – 10.30pm

Free admission to the whole museum during the festival, including the Joseon Korea special exhibition.

Visit www.heritagefestival.sg for more details.

* Information courtesy of National Heritage Board *

Tango-enabled VR and AR tour of the National Museum of Singapore

The use of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) in the society is slowly gaining acceptance and application in real life. In an earlier article, I shared an article on using AR in a hospitality/hotel environment. Today, I am going to share another story, the use of VR and AR in a museum in Singapore, the National Museum of Singapore.

With the Tango technology platform created by Google, the National Museum of Singapore is one of the first museums in the world to adopt this technology. Tango is a set of sensors and computer vision software that enables smartphone augmented reality that allows users to imagine new spaces, get things done, and play games in a new dimension.

Visitors can enjoy the VR and AR tour with a Tango-enabled mobile device and they can go back in time and history, to retrace and learn about the National Museum of Singapore’s early history, artefacts and exhibits over time. This is a very interesting journey and I had the opportunity to experience, test and share my stories and photos with my readers here. Using indoor mapping, VR and AR, visitors will be able to explore how the National Museum of Singapore has evolved over the past 130 years.

There are six points of interest that participants of this tour can explore on the Tango-enabled Architecture tour with the Museum guide. Let me bring you a sneak peak into some of the VR and AR scenes from the Tango-enabled mobile device.

3D model of the National Museum

At at the Main Rotunda on Level 1 and the Glass Atrium on Level 2, the visitors on this tour can activate a 3D replica of the building on the Tango-enabled mobile device, it provides information on its structural components and allows the participant to navigate around the façade. Visitors can also see how the National Museum of Singapore has changed over the years, just by using the “Time Slider” view.

Virtual World of Past Artefacts

The iconic and famous 90 feet high Rotunda at the main entrance of the National Museum of Singapore, visitors on the Tango-enabled tour are able to go back in time into a virtual world of what this space looked like in the 1950s. Spot the world of past artefacts that were once on display at this location, such as the marble bust of Sir Stamford Raffles and the famous Revere Bell. Observe the floor tiles of the National Museum of Singapore in the earlier days and the floor tiles today, can you spot the difference?

Say hi to the Whale

At the glass passage on Level 2, one of the largest frameless, self-supporting glass structures in the world, visitors can see an AR view of the museum’s iconic Indian Fin Whale Skeleton. Listen to the sound of the Indian Fin Whale “saying hi to you”! Remember to say hi back!

I strongly encourage you to sign up for this very interesting, interactive and informative tour that combines modern technology using Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality, with stories from the National Museum of Singapore guide leading you on the tour. This would greatly enhance learning history, heritage, culture and stories of Singapore and the National Museum of Singapore.

The tour is an hour long and registration is free, on a first come, first serve basis. If you keen to sign up for the Tango-enabled tour at the National Museum of Singapore, visit National Musuem of Singapore guided tours link and register.

Please take note that there are limited places, maximum capacity is 15 people on a first come, first serve basis, to ensure that the tour is conducted in a manner that is optimal and enjoyable for all participants.

Seats are limited! Remember to check out on the availability of the places for the upcoming tours for the Tango-enabled VR and AR tour of the National Museum of Singapore!

* I would like to thank National Museum of Singapore for the invitation to try out the Tango-enabled VR and AR tour of the National Museum of Singapore *

Armenian Street Party 2017 by Peranakan Museum

A short stretch of the road and space in front of the Peranakan Museum closed to the traffic for two nights, transforming into a fun party venue for visitors to bring their family, children and friends down, visit the museums and soak in the party atmosphere. This was the Armenian Street Party 2017 organised by Peranakan Museum that took place on 10th and 11th March. The Armenian Street Party made her maiden debut in 2016, I was there too at the first Armenian Street Party!

For this year 2017 Armenian Street Party, I dropped by on Friday evening and managed to catch some of the performances at the street party. The theme for Armenian Street Party 2017 was back to school, going back to the good old school nostalgia days (when we were young), some of you might remember going to detention class, disliking certain subjects such as literature, tuckshop food during recess time, English and grammar class, PE class, music class etc etc.

The Armenian Street Party was also a perfect time to visit the Peranakan Museum and Singapore Philatelic Museum with their family, children and friends. This street party is perfect for the two museums to have more publicity and awareness from the public, they are two great museums with really great and wonderful artworks, contents and exhibitions, that the public may not know as much, compared to her bigger fellow sister museums such as the National Museum of Singapore.

At the Armenian Street Party 2017, on the Friday that I visited, I saw the mass P.E. class by Upside Motion, it’s not a bad idea to conduct P.E. class on the road without the vehicles! The iconic Peranakan Museum favourite band of singers, the Peranakan Sayang, were in action on Friday, with the theme “Balek Sekolah!”, translated to “Back to school!”. This group of singers are really good and they never fail to light up the crowds!

The Armenian Street Party is not just about the two museums, Peranakan Museum and Singapore Philatelic Museum, it’s a community event, the kampung spirit, with fellow neighbours along Armenian Street coming in, participating and be a part of this festive party. Timbre Group, Substation, Upside Motion, True Blue Cuisine and SMU were neighbours, part of the Armenian Street kampung. They all played a part in this year’s street party.

There were also delicious food by True Blue Cuisine, selling all time favourite tuckshop treats, I didn’t manage to go down and eat all the food on Friday. I only manage to eat the laksa during the media preview (I was rushing for time on that day) prior to the street party weekend.

I took the opportunity to visit Singapore Philatelic Museum, a very short walk down the road from Peranakan Museum. I forgot when was the last time I visited this museum, they looked small in physical size yet they packed some pretty wonderful collections inside there. Touring the Singapore Philatelic Museum brought me back many memories, I used to collect stamps when I was a young kid in school and I am beginning to wonder where have I kept my stamps? Probably somewhere in my home!

After touring the Singapore Philatelic Museum, I stayed on and watched two performances –

Literature Class: Music & Prose of the Past

By Cappella Martialis

Literature Class: Will The Night Away!

By Centre Stage.

Two great performances held inside this small and cosy Singapore Philatelic Museum.

The performance “Will The Night Away!” was about a Shakespeare classic “Romeo and Juliet”, that most students would probably have studied if they took Literature during their secondary school days (I didn’t take Literature in my upper secondary school). This is Singapore style, a Singapore spin “Romeo and Ah Lian”. Their play was hilarious, interactive and engaging, with the Shakespeare exhibition theme behind them, this was a perfect setting for Romeo and Ah Lian!

Since I was only there on Friday, I couldn’t catch the rest of the performances and activities that were held during the Armenian Street Party 2017, although I did manage to catch a glimpse of some of them during the media preview.

Personally, I feel that the Armenian Street Party is a great community event that doesn’t need to go massively big, it may not (and need not) be the biggest street party event or museums event, they just leverage and combine together as the Armenian Street “kampung”, the Peranakan Museum and Singapore Philatelic Museum, along with their neighbours along Armenian Street.

Looking forward to the next edition of the Armenian Street Party!


Created with flickr slideshow.

Chinatown Heritage Walking Trail CNY 2017

The Year of the Rooster 2017 is going to start soon in about 12 days time (starting from today 16th January 2017), ushering in the Chinese New Year on the 28th January 2017. Leading up to the festive season of the Chinese Lunar New Year, we have exciting events, activities and our favourite festive bazaar at Chinatown.

Having grew up in Singapore, I visited Chinatown a number of times during the Chinese New Year festive bazaar, to indulge in the festive atmosphere. It can get really crowded during this period and this is a great time to experience the Chinese New Year festivities in Singapore.

I recently went for the Chinatown Heritage Walking Trail held during the Chinese New Year 2017 festivities on 14th January 2017. Let me bring you through some of the destinations, features and highlights that you can experience for yourself with your family, relatives and friends during this Chinese New Year festivities at Chinatown (12 more days of Chinese New Year festivities before the first day of the Chinese Lunar New Year on 28th January 2017)

This Chinatown Heritage Walking Trail was interesting for me because we had the gorgeous and beautiful Mediacorp artiste Sora Ma, leading us for this walking trail! She’s a great travel/tour guide, awesome interaction with the stall owners and walking trail participants, in the midst of the huge crowds and congestion!

Meeting point/Starting point: Chinatown Heritage Centre

The Chinatown Heritage Centre is an excellent destination for everybody, for the locals and our international visitor friends. This is the place where you can go and visit, to learn, see, feel and discover the footsteps of Singapore’s early pioneers and explore the personal stories of early Singaporeans who lived in Chinatown.

I visited and toured Chinatown Heritage Centre on a separate visit with my university alumni group during an alumni outing. It’s definitely an eye-opener and I strongly encourage everybody to visit Chinatown Heritage Centre. More information and details can be found on their website.

There are two exciting programmes at Chinatown Heritage Centre during the Year of the Rooster festive celebration

Happy Rooster Family Album

6 January to 28 February 2017

Daily: 9am to 8pm

27 Jan: 9am to 5pm

28 Jan: Closed

If you are born in the Year of the Rooster and you are visiting Chinatown Heritage Centre, you can get free admission into Chinatown Heritage Centre if you participate and be a part of the Happy Rooster Family Album!

Year of the Rooster Capteh Challenge

6 January to 28 February 2017

28 Jan: Closed

The capteh is a traditional game, I personally played it before when I was a young kid. A fun game, if you can juggle a football consecutively, you are definitely game enough for the capteh! It can be challenging yet it will be fun!

All you have to do is to catch Chinatown Heritage Centre’s signature memorable moments at 1pm and 4pm daily to participate in the capteh challenge. If you can keep the capteh flying in the air by kicking and controlling it for 8 consecutive times non-stop, you can win free admission to the Centre!

Try it out! It’s going to be a fun experience!

Chinese New Year Festive Street Bazaar

A must visit when you are in Chinatown during the Chinese New Year period, indulge and soak in the festive atmosphere of the Chinese New Year festivities, the huge crowds, the bazaar, the goods and food on sale.

It can be very very crowded, making it very difficult to walk around the congested streets during this time. Take it slow and easy, wear comfortable clothing and shoes.

Check out some of the stalls that we visited during the Chinatown Heritage Walking Trail!

YouthEATS @ Temple Street

A new addition to the traditional and regular Chinese New Year festive street bazaar, it’s my first time too! You have to check out the stalls and their food below –

Must try, I reckon you would love them! Sometimes, I don’t need to write a food review for them because I just want to show you the food and where to find them! Go try it!

Spots for Chinatown light up photography

I do love coming down to Chinatown for photography during the Chinese New Year festival season. I took photos from this location previously! There are a lot of different lightings, lanterns and displays during the festive season. Let me share with you, one of the locations to view, enjoy and take photographs!

Garden Bridge (Chinatown Pedestrian Bridge)

You can’t miss this bridge when you are in Chinatown, many people use this bridge to cross from one side of Chinatown (Pagoda Street, Temple Street, Smith Street, Mosque Street) to People’s Park Complex, The Majestic, OG People’s Park.

This would be one of the locations for me to take photos of Chinatown during the Chinese New Year festive season. Visit it during the night when the lightings, lanterns and displays are lighted up, making Chinatown extra bright and colourful!

Lepark @ People’s Park Complex

This is probably one of Singapore’s not too well known yet locations that I believe would slowly grow, transform and evolve into a destination that is popular with creative artists, youth and future flea markets. Lepark is located on the 6th floor of People’s Park Complex, the roof top carpark!

I heard a lot about this location and I had yet to visit Lepark. Thanks to this special Chinatown Heritage Walking Trail, I finally got to visit Lepark. When we were up there on 14th January, there was YHFLEA: Come Lepark Edition a first-of-its-kind collective flea and car boot market with Lepark and Young Hungry Free. Although YHFLEA was only held for two days (14th and 15th January), I hope they would return again and slowly help Lepark grows into a destination for all to visit in the future.

Lepark is another ideal location for street/urban landscape photography of Chinatown and Singapore’s Tanjong Pagar CBD sector. I have a feeling that more photographers will start to visit this location as time goes by. Let’s hope that all these activities and events would slowly transform and grow Lepark at People’s Park Complex.

After visiting Lepark, this marked the ending point for this specially organised Chinatown Heritage Walking Trail tour on the 14th January 2017. It was a fun trip with Sora Ma as our tour guide! Of course, we have to take group photos with our gorgeous and beautiful Sora Ma!

The Chinese New Year festivities are now taking place at Chinatown, do visit and explore some of the festivities, locations and food that I shared here!

Thank you Ninemer PR for the invitation and Kreta Ayer-Kim Seng Citizens’ Consultative Committee for organising this walking trail!

Enchanted rainforest at National Museum’s revamped Glass Rotunda

The Glass Rotunda at the National Museum of Singapore went through a revamp for the past two years and today on Friday 10th December 2016, they will reopen to the public again. The revamped Glass Rotunda is going to showcase two new permanent installations, visitors would be entering into an enchanted world of flora and fauna, mesmerised by the art light work projection displays inside the Glass Rotunda. The two new permanent installations are – “Story of the Forest”, a commissioned work by internationally renowned art collective teamLab and “Singapore, Very Old Tree” exhibit by acclaimed local photographer and artist Robert Zhao.

Story of the Forest by teamLab, is a very beautiful and engaging light artwork projection display (FYI, teamLab was the artist for iLightMarinaBay 2016 Art Science Museum installation display!). They are inspired by the rich ecological heritage and history of the tropical rainforest, the flora and fauna that lives in the tropical rainforest, with sights and sounds that visitors can identify with. Upon entering into the Glass Rotunda, be prepared to be mesmerised and blown away by the enchanted rainforest. The ceiling of the Glass Rotunda is 15m high and visitors are going to walk down a 170m passage to the base of the Glass Rotunda. At the beginning of your enchanted rainforest journey, visitors will be welcomed and greeted by constant celestial movements of flora that falls from the top of the dome structure.

As you walk across the bridge, into the middle section of the Glass Rotunda, the night turns into day. Continue walking, observe and experience the life, the richness and gorgeous colours of the tropical rainforest beside you, as you walked down the passage. Do not rush, enjoy the time and tranquility, spot the animals such as the animated Malayan Tapir. Nearing the bottom/lower segment of the Glass Rotunda, the scenes started to turn dark, entering into the night time zone.

Reaching the base of the Glass Rotunda, look up above, walk around, get close to the walls and interact with the light artwork projections. Experience and witness with your own eyes and heart, the growth and bloom of native flowers and fruits. If you prefer to lie down on the ground and look up above into the top of the Glass Rotunda, go ahead and do it! The base section of the Glass Rotunda is really amazing, it’s a mix of an enchanted rainforest, night sky and space. When I was there looking up at the enchanted rainforest inside the Glass Rotunda, how I secretly wish that they could fly me away inside the enchanted rainforest world!

There is an app for you to download into your smartphone that can enhance your visitor experience at Story of the Forest inside the Glass Rotund. It’s available to download for free on the App Store and Google Play.

Once you exit from the Story of the Forest installation, you will enter into another world, iconic trees that showcase the roots and history of Singapore. Some of the trees are not just iconic, they are a part of Singapore, the heart, culture and society, the personal and intimate connections that bind the trees and people of Singapore together. In my exploration and documentation of old places in Singapore over the years, as well as growing up in Singapore, I can identify some of the old trees on display and I can relate to the personal and intimate connections between the trees, society and people.

Once you completed touring both Story of the Forest and Singapore, Very Old Tree, visitors have the option of beginning their experience of the Singapore History Gallery from the Glass Rotunda. I visited the Singapore History Gallery before and this tour schedule starting from Story of the Forest, followed by Singapore, Very Old Tree and starting the Singapore History Gallery tour is a pretty good itinerary for a visit to the National Museum of Singapore with your family and friends.

Come on down and visit the National Museum of Singapore, let yourself be mesmerised by the enchanted Story of the Forest, Singapore, Very Old Tree and take a walk down into Singapore’s History Gallery!

Fore more information, visit www.nationalmuseum.sg

One Night in Wuchang: 1911 Revolution and Nanyang

On that one night in the early 20th century that started, defined and created a new era, a revolution that changed an entire country, China. This special exhibition currently ongoing at Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall in Singapore gives a great and amazing insight into the history, culture and stories of that One Night in Wuchang, the 1911 Revolution and how Nanyang played her role in this revolution.

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At the official opening of the One Night in Wuchang: 1911 Revolution and Nanyang special exhibition at Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall, graced by many VIPs attending and touring this special exhibition. I had the opportunity to learn and understand more about this particular segment of China’s history from the last Qing dynasty to the founding of modern China in her 1911 Revolution.

This was also my maiden visit into the exhibition halls of Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall, this special exhibition is a perfect fit to understand how the Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall came about and the role this double storey villa played in the 1911 Revolution. Dr Sun Yat Sen chose Singapore as the headquarters of his revolutionary movement in this double storey villa Wan Qing Yuan (current Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall), garnering support for his Tong Meng Hui or Chinese Revolution Alliance in Nanyang. When you first enter into Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall, you would pass by a gallery showcasing Singapore’s early pioneers, the key supporters of Dr Sun Yat Sen in Singapore.

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Before entering into the special gallery where the One Night in Wuchang: 1911 Revolution and Nanyang special exhibition is held, there are introductions/short write ups and a timeline on both sides of the wall leading into the special gallery, I strongly encourage the visitors to make a stop, read the introductions and look at the timeline first before entering into the special gallery and starting your tour of the special exhibition.

Walk inside, turn left and start the tour of One Night in Wuchang: 1911 Revolution and Nanyang. This special exhibition may look small in scale size yet it is packed with a rich volume in history, culture, sociology, information, values and treasures. Some of the items inside the special exhibition are priceless, you can’t put a monetary value on them.

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This special exhibition One Night in Wuchang: 1911 Revolution and Nanyang not just traces the stories behind the stories of the 1911 Revolution, it also pays a tribute to Dr Sun Yat Sen, his revolution, his supporters and how this brought about cultural changes to the Chinese and the dawn of a new era in China’s modern history in the areas of republicanism, national identity and citizenship.

From paintings, to calligraphy, invitations, identity cards, advertisements, uniforms, bonds and money. Visitors can have a close up view of the items that defined and shaped the identity of modern China after the fall of the dynasty. I strongly encourage you to visit this special exhibition whereby you can have the feel and connection with this special (and important) part of China’s rich and long history. Visiting Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall, you will be able to know and understand how Nanyang (Singapore) played a role in the 1911 Revolution.

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Take a walk back in time, through this special exhibition at Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall and you would be able to see, learn, feel and understand the stories behind the stories of One Night in Wuchang: 1911 Revolution and Nanyang.

I would like to thank National Heritage Board and Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall for the invitation to the official opening of the special exhibition.

Key information on One Night in WuChang: 1911 Revolution and Nanyang Special Exhibition

Location: Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall

Period: 5th November 2016 – 30th April 2017

Opening Hours: 10am – 5pm (Tuesday – Sunday)

Address: 12 Tai Gin Road Singapore 327874

Hotline: 6256 7377

Website: Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall


Created with flickr slideshow.